There are certain tropes which moviegoers expect to see while watching a horror. Buckets of blood. Jump-scares around every corner. A seemingly dead villain springing back to life.
But there's another cliche that's all too common in the genre - Everyone acts like an idiot. What does the cast do when they find a book made of human skin? They read the demon-summoning incantations aloud. Our ensemble is compelled to explore any noise they hear outside, knowing full-well there's a killer on the loose. And no matter how dangerous things are, someone always advises the group to split up.
What's more frustrating is dumb decisions like these are more abundant in found-footage. When the hero's life is in jeopardy, they're more focused on recording than their own survival. (Seriously, why wouldn't anyone drop the camera and run while being chased by monsters?)
Because these stereotypes are frustrating, it's nice to see someone in a found-footage feature with some common sense. When there's a murderer nearby, they don't throw caution to the wind. Instead, they stay quiet, strategise, and stick together.
The found-footage genre has its fair share of dummies, but the characters on this list aren't among them.
11. Sergio Handcuffs Mari To The Bannister - [REC]
In [REC], a reporter, Angela, and her cameraman, Pablo, are documenting night-shift firefighters in Barcelona. After receiving a distress call from an apartment building, Angela and her party head there, where they encounter a savage woman.
After she attacks the emergency workers, Angela learns the tenant has been infected with a rabies-like disease. Realising others could be infected in classic zombie fashion, Officer Sergio safeguards Angela from potential harm.
When a little girl called Jennifer becomes infected, she vomits blood on her mother, Mari, before running up the stairs. Knowing Jennifer can infect others, it's Sergio's top priority to chase after her. But before he does, he handcuffs Mari to the staircase, since Jennifer has exposed her to the same virus.
Because Jennifer's transformation occurs in the blink of an eye, Sergio may not have noticed the threat Mari posed. Luckily, the officer recognised the danger, and had her incapacitated immediately.
Not only was this a smart move, but it totally pays off in a more twisted and unintended way. When a bunch of zombified citizens burst into the building later, they try to attack Sergio and Angela. Because Mari is cuffed, the horde see her as an easy target and go for her instead, giving the others enough time to flee upstairs.